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weighted_wings in narukorp

Waiting for the storm [Nejiko, open to people in the Hyuuga compound]

[set immediately after One's Duty]

The training grounds Nejiko chose were as far away from the nearest building as she could get without traveling beyond the thick stone walls. She wasn't sure what was worse - the fact the Elders were pushing this issue, or the fact she could understand the reasoning behind it. All Hyuuga knew their duty. Duty to clan and to village came at the price of individuality, of self-governance.

Nejiko began shadowing her through sword-forms, hand grasping an imagined sword, her eyes half-closed. Her movements began slow as she attempted to assume the meditational calm she preferred for stepping through kata, but the meeting with Hiashiko and with Hinata refused to remain gone for long. The flowing, almost sensual forms quickly degenerated into something more vicious, more violent, more lethal.

She had said nothing but the truth to them: being in ANBU meant that yes, Tsurude had the first say in regards to anything she and/or the clan might wish, if it could conflict with her ANBU duties. A wedding and a bedding certainly qualified, especially when progeny was the desired goal. It didn't matter that the only man she had ever wanted, the only man she had ever allowed herself to privately consider for a husband was--unavailable.

For all the energy she put into everything that deep well of emotion and adrenaline continued to build until the pressure almost physically hurt because she couldn't release it quick enough.

Her children would be branch. At least then they could escape the compound, be part of a genin cell that would open to them a world generally unexperienced by the main, except from a distance. The branch were taught strict obedience to the main, and as today reminded her they would have little say in even personal matters, if said matters conflicted with the will of the clan. But were the main any better? Hiashiko herself had been stripped of her power. The main were disallowed from going anywhere outside the compound absent an escort of at least one member of the branch, even if said member maintained their vigilance from a distance specified by the main. And Hanabi... Hanabi would have even less choice in his future wife. Nejiko could avoid this unwanted 'duty' by sheer virtue of being a shinobi. (Or at least, being part of ANBU.) Hanabi had no such recourse, and it infuriated her more.

Kata continued to prove to be a poor outlet, so she stopped and changed her stance. She focused her chakra, pushed it to just beneath the skin and then loosed it as she spun to create the visible sphere of the kaiten.

Faster and faster she spun in place, keeping her arms tucked in close to not flap uselessly. The part of the kaiten that was beneath her feet gouged a crater that deepened inch by inch as she continued to spin. She felt the internal pressure begin to ease, but it was not fast enough. Gritting her teeth in effort and concentration, she forced out more chakra, expanding the sphere's radius and ruining more of the grounds.


The summoning of her daughter hadn't gone unnoticed by Hizashiko. It could have been nothing, but something nagged in the back of her mind. She'd felt restless, during when Nejiko had been gone, and when time passed and her daughter didn't return... Well, she'd grown tired of waiting. The young woman was most likely still in the meeting, but it wouldn't hurt to go and look for her, to make sure everything was all right. If she couldn't find her (had it been a sudden mission?) then she would go to her sister. Thankfully, she did find her.

...or perhaps not so thankfully, judging by the way her daughter was tearing up the ground.

The older Hyuuga slowed and then stopped at the edge giving Nejiko plenty of room to move. It was still amazing to watch; when her daughter had told her she could do the kaiten, had explained that she head learned it herself, Hizashiko could never have been prouder. Her daughter was truly amazing, and proved it again and again in all that she did. The kaiten was one of the few obvious achievements, and Hizashiko never grew tired of watching her daughter move in that dangerous circle.

Today though, she was more concerned about trying to see her daughter, to see what was wrong and what had happened. Nejiko wouldn't react like this unless something was going on (or so she assumed, she... was still learning about her daughter's emotions) and Hizashiko wanted to know. And if Nejiko didn't want to talk, well... at the very least, Hizashiko was there in support of Nejiko, no matter what.

... and she could always ask her sister later.
Nejiko could glimpse her mother standing at a safe distance, with the aid of Byakugan. However she still felt too volatile to be civil and so continued spinning in place. By now the kaiten's radius reached half-again what she usually employed to protect herself in combat. The strain of maintaining the sphere already made itself known. Her body added to the conversation in the way air scraped her throat and her muscles ached from physical exertion.

Only when she felt certain that her energy was expended enough to keep from doing anything stupid but not enough to be too much of a hindrance, she released her will and slowed down. Without her hold on the chakra combined with centrifugal force, the kaiten fell apart. Chakra dissipated into the air in feathery strips that left only wind as a marker of passage.

At the center of the calf-deep crater Nejiko let herself fall forward onto her knees while keeping her torso straight and head held high as she looked at Hizashiko.

"Momma," she said quietly, voice roughened from inhaling dust.
It was only once Nejiko was done spinning, when the chakra was gone, and when was addressed in a rough voice, did she start to move towards her daughter. Steps slow and deliberate, Hizashiko felt no need to rush over. Though she breathed faster then normal and had fallen to her knees, she was fine. She was a big girl, could take care of herself. Hizashiko knew this now, and strove to remind herself of it, when it was still hard to separate the small girl she used to hold with the young woman on her knees before her now.

She paused at the edge of the crater, and then reached out a hand to help Nejiko up if she wanted to take it. "That was impressive Nejiko. I never cease to enjoy watching you perform the kaiten."

It was quiet, honest praise. And a little bit of smugness too. The Main tried so hard to keep the Branch down, and it had always irritated the older woman that they denied the best defense to those who needed it the most. She was proud of Nejiko for attaining it because her daughter was smart and she loved her; she was smug about it because it served those bastards right for trying to keep it from them. Still Hizashiko was more concerned about her daughter- something was just off.

She would ask in a moment.
The crater Nejiko knelt in was sufficiently big enough that she had to push herself up to her feet. She paused, mostly from habitual instinct, before reaching out her own hand to grasp Hizashiko's and get a little help getting up out of the crater. "Thank you," she said quietly. Muted and not-quite distant anger shone in her eyes, but its target wasn't Hizashiko.

In fact, Nejiko worked up a momentary, faint and rueful smile. "I only wish I could show you how to do it." But she was banned from teaching any member of the branch.
There was a quiet nod to Nejiko's thanks, accepting it and letting it go in one breath. Her daughter didn't like help, just like she hadn't, so Hizashiko was just glad that Nejiko trusted her enough to take her hand, even when it wasn't exactly needed. The hand was lightly release when Nejiko was on her feet, and the mother regarded her daughter for some time, noting the muted anger there and starting to worry about what caused it.

There was a faint quirk of a smile as Nejiko said she wished she could show her how, and Hizashiko just shook her head. "It is better that you can't. Because I am stubborn enough to try, even when I know I am too old to do so. I am content to watch you, Nejiko."

There was quiet for awhile, before white eyes focused on Nejiko, curiosity muted and concern evident. "... what has made you so angry?"

Unlike the rest of her Hyuuga brethren, Hizashiko tried to be as blunt as possible.
And Nejiko appreciated that bluntness. She had lost most of the anger-fueled energy, yes, but temper continued to simmer.

"The Elder Council has decided it is time for me to produce an heir," she replied, trying not to be curt to her mother. "For the main."

For a moment, Hizashiko really didn't have any words. The idea that the elders would force her to have a child and give it to the main was almost.... impossible to think about. But it was possible for them to do. That was what they had tried to do with Hiza herself, after all. Nejiko had been intended for the Main house, for the Head family even, and it had only been Hiroshi's intervention that had spared (taken away?) her Fate in that house.

But this? This was different. That had been because Hiashiko couldn't bear a child, not because they simply wanted to have one. True, her daughter was the very best the clan had but this... this was absolutely insane. Hiashiko would never-

... Hiashiko had far less power now. She had probably been the only thing barring them from going at it this way. The younger twin felt her blood begin to boil, after slipping in, familiar and comforting. Anger that they had used her sister so, and angrier still that they wanted to use her daughter in such a way. Her hands tightened into fists before she could relax and exhale, saying quite plainly, and deciding that was that,

Nejiko found it quite interesting to see her own anger mirrored back, and on a face vaguely similar yet older and wiser than her own. She saw the fists clench and the muscles tense, and white eyes simmer with an expression she knew quite well.

And yet, for a reason Nejiko was unsure of, Hizashiko's reply surprised her. This wasn't a simple denial, this was a promise that it wouldn't happen. What did Hizashiko think she going to do? Thought that she could do? Hiashiko no longer wielded the reasoning power and command necessary to turn aside the Elder Council. Hizashiko wouldn't be so stupid as to try and physically change their minds.


...would she?


Watchng Hizashiko carefully, Nejiko continued. "I already told them their call to my duty is moot if Hokage-sama does not allow for it."
Oh, she would be so bold. She would be.

It was a good thing, then, that Nejiko mentioned the Hokage and her duty to him. Tension slowly bled out of her body and she inhaled, and then exhaled. After a moment, her hands uncurled and she almost seemed to shake herself and come back. Hizashiko slipped her eyes from far away back to her daughter.

"... good," she finally answered, calm once again; she almost felt tired from the anger. "He won't allow it."
"I can only hope that is so," Nejiko said quietly. Everything hinged on what he would say. While she couldn't imagine why he would agree to it, she also couldn't imagine why he wouldn't. Matters of the Hyuuga clan were difficult to navigate. She had no ideas to what he would do.

She could only hope that he would help her.